Student accommodation crisis: 'Fake landlord scammed us out of €1,500 as we looked for flat'
A father scammed out of €1,500 while looking for student accommodation for his daughter has warned parents to remain vigilant.
Simon Kershaw, who lives in west Cork, has been searching for accommodation for his daughter Charlotte (21), who studies dentistry in Trinity College Dublin.
With two daughters in university, Mr Kershaw said it was "proving unsustainable" to pay €8,000-a-year for on-campus accommodation.
Having stayed in campus accommodation last year, Charlotte was frantically looking over the summer for a room to stay in.
She had found a place on Facebook for €450-a-month, on Townsend Street, in Dublin city centre.
Having transferred a "refundable deposit", the contract was sent via email and the keys were to be sent by courier once the alleged landlord confirmed the money had transferred.
Rather than the keys, they received a further email about a double letting.
The fraudster then asked for four-month's rent to guarantee the property. Mr Kershaw sent two months instead, but again did not receive the keys.
He said they "were always very cautious" but couldn't believe they had been caught out.
"We couldn't believe it but obviously they are still out there," he said of the fraudster.